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FIBA Africa 2013: Championships Schedule, Draw, Bracket and More

LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 02: Al-Farouq Aminu #7 of Nigeria slam dunks during the Men's Basketball Preliminary Round match against the United States on Day 6 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at Basketball Arena on August 2, 2012 in London, England.  (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
Mike Hewitt/Getty Images
Maxwell OgdenCorrespondent IIIAugust 19, 2013

The 2013 FIBA Africa Championship is set to commence Tuesday, Aug. 20 in Ivory Coast. This will mark the 27th annual FIBA Africa event and will feature 16 of the best African teams in the continent.

Here's how it's all going to transpire.

 

Group A

Tuesday, August 20

3:00: Egypt vs. Senegal at Palais des Sports de Treichville, Abidjan

5:30: Ivory Coast vs. Algeria at Palais des Sports de Treichville, Abidjan

 

Thursday, August 22

3:00: Algeria vs. Egypt at Palais des Sports de Treichville, Abidjan

5:30: Senegal vs. Ivory Coast at Palais des Sports de Treichville, Abidjan

 

Saturday, August 24

3:00: Senegal vs. Algeria at Palais des Sports de Treichville, Abidjan

5:30: Ivory Coast vs. Egypt at Palais des Sports de Treichville, Abidjan

 

Group B

Wednesday, Aug. 21

12:30: Rwanda vs. Burkina Faso at Palais des Sports de Treichville, Abidjan

8:00: Tunisia vs. Morocco at Palais des Sports de Treichville, Abidjan

 

Friday, Aug. 23

12:30: Morocco vs. Rwanda at Palais des Sports de Treichville, Abidjan

3:00: Burkina Faso vs. Tunisia at Palais des Sports de Treichville, Abidjan

 

Sunday, Aug. 25 

12:30: Burkina Faso vs. Morocco at Palais des Sports de Treichville, Abidjan

5:30: Tunisia vs. Rwanda at Palais des Sports de Treichville, Abidjan

 

Group C

Tuesday, Aug. 20

12:30: Central African Republic vs. Mozambique at Palais des Sports de Treichville, Abidjan

8:00: Angola vs. Cape Verde at Palais des Sports de Treichville, Abidjan

 

Thursday, Aug. 22

12:30: Cape Verde vs. Central African Republic at Palais des Sports de Treichville, Abidjan

8:00: Mozambique vs. Angola at Palais des Sports de Treichville, Abidjan

 

Saturday, Aug. 24

12:30: Mozambique vs. Cape Verde at Palais des Sports de Treichville, Abidjan

8:00: Angola vs. Central African Republic at Palais des Sports de Treichville, Abidjan

 

Group D

Wednesday, Aug. 21

3:00: Cameroon vs. Congo at Palais des Sports de Treichville, Abidjan

5:30: Nigeria vs. Mali at Palais des Sports de Treichville, Abidjan

 

Friday, Aug. 23

5:30: Congo vs. Nigeria at Palais des Sports de Treichville, Abidjan

8:00: Mali vs. Cameroon at Palais des Sports de Treichville, Abidjan

 

Sunday, Aug. 25

3:00: Congo vs. Gali at Palais des Sports de Treichville, Abidjan

8:00: Nigeria vs. Cameroon at Palais des Sports de Treichville, Abidjan

 

Bracket

 

Fifth-Place Bracket

 

Player to Watch: Al-Farouq Aminu, Nigeria

Prior to the arrival of Tyreke Evans, Al-Farouq Aminu was the starting small forward for the New Orleans Pelicans. During the summer of 2012, Aminu displayed his defensive upside by averaging 6.0 rebounds and 2.0 steals at the London Olympics.

At the 2013 FIBA Africa Championship, Aminu will look to improve his offensive game and lead Nigeria to the gold medal.

He may have holes in his game, but the 22-year-old averaged 7.7 rebounds and made significant improvements during the 2012-13 NBA season. He posted a career-best mark in scoring while also hitting a personal high in rebounds, assists and steals per 40 minutes.

Going from 41.1 percent shooting from the field in 2011-12 to a career-high 47.5 percent in 2012-13 should speak loudly for how far Aminu has come in three short years.

With that being said, Nigeria will need Aminu to continue making strides as a scorer if they're to win it all. Ike Diogu will be a difference-maker and Chamberlain Oguchi can shoot the ball, but Aminu's ability to slash and score will be the difference-maker.

Either way, Nigeria is the team to watch.

 

Team to Watch: Nigeria

Nigeria has a cast of former and current NBA players including Aminu, Diogu and Ben Uzoh. They also have quality international players in Oguchi, Tony Skinn and Alade Aminu.

Surprisingly, Nigeria has never won a gold medal at the FIBA Africa Championships. They won bronze in 2005 and 2011, but haven't won a silver medal since 2003 and are under significant pressure to fight off favored opponents for the gold in 2013.

The question is, will they cash in or fall short?

The favorite, at this point, is reigning gold medalist Tunisia. Salah Mejri won MVP during that run and has since gone on to become a premier player in Spain, recently signing with Real Madrid and serving as the 2013 ACB Rising Star award winner.

Watch for Mejri as a potential NBA player if he can shine both here and with Real Madrid. With Diogu, a former NBA player, defending him, the 7'2" center will certainly have a quality test.

Nigeria is the team to watch, but Tunisia is the squad to beat.

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